Mary’s Place, A Center for Grieving Children and Families, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide an atmosphere of trust where families who are grieving a death can share their experiences, receive support, and find comfort. Mary’s Place provides a safe environment which encourages and supports children as they grieve in ways uniquely appropriate to their developmental stage. Through the use of tools such as art, music, and movement, children can express themselves without feeling different or alone and connect with peers who have also experienced a death.
“All too often, children are the ‘forgotten grievers.’ Mary’s Place was created as a safe environment where children and families can share emotions and feelings that they often can’t express anyplace else. At the same time, they learn that they are not alone and that their feelings and responses are normal.”
—Mary Keane, Founder of Mary’s Place
Mary’s Place grew out of the vision and generosity of Carmon Community Funeral Homes and the insight of Mary Keane. Before founding Mary’s Place, Mary was an oncology nurse-clinician. In the course of her work she recognized the need for a support system for young people who had suffered the death of a loved one. This led her to organize a young widow and widowers support group in 1989. In 1991 she started a children’s support group, which met in her apartment. As the number of children grew, the group moved to the student lounge at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor Connecticut. In 1996, with the help and support of the Carmon family, Mary’s Place was formally established as a Center for Grieving Children and Families and is located at 6 Poquonock Avenue in Windsor Connecticut.
We celebrated Mary’s retirement in October 2006, and honored her spirit and dedication to the many grieving children and families that had passed through Mary’s Place over the years. Mary now resides in California.
Today, Mary’s Place has several different peer support groups for children and families. All groups meet twice a month throughout the year.